$41M Recovered for Louisiana Consumers After Hurricane Claims Complaints
Complaints over insurance claims arising out of the three hurricanes that struck Louisiana last year had resulted in a recovery of $41 million for consumers by end of April, Louisiana insurance regulators say.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has received more than 1,500 complaints arising from the 2020 hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. Grievances have included complaints about residential, auto and commercial property insurance, as well as complaints about insurance adjusters and agents, and other issues.
The most common topic of concern has shifted as hurricane claims have progressed. In January, the most common grievance was claim delay. By May, it was inadequate and delayed payment of claims, LDI says.
Of the $41,065,540 recovered so far through the complaint process from last year’s storms, Hurricane Laura accounted for the vast majority of those recoveries at $37.8 million. Recoveries from Hurricane Delta stand at $2.5 million and recoveries from Hurricane Zeta are $760,318.
As of March 31, 2021, Louisiana insurers had received 311,266 claims for all lines of insurance from hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. Although insurers label 85% of those claims as closed, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is encouraging policyholders to file supplemental claims for payment if they are dissatisfied with the amount of money they have received. Consumers can file as many supplemental claims as needed until their properties are rebuilt, subject to any time limits contained in their policies or Louisiana law.
As of April 30, policyholders had filed 1,145 complaints about Hurricane Laura, 206 complaints related to Hurricane Delta, and 146 complaints concerning Hurricane Zeta. About 77% of these complaints are in regard to homeowners policies.
LDI in April reported that insurance companies expect to pay $9.6 billion on claims of all types from hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta in Louisiana, up from $7.7 billion at the end 2020, according to information received from insurers reporting paid and reserved losses through March 31.
Policyholders had filed 311,266 claims of all types from the three storms through the first quarter of 2021.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance has secured $600,000 via an amendment sponsored by Sen. Ronnie Johns (R-Lake Charles) to the state budget bill (HB1) to investigate five homeowners insurance companies over concerns that they mishandled claims after hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.